Former junior minister,Sligo’s John Perry has warned Fine Gael it risks losing power at the general election if he is not on the party ticket in Sligo-Leitrim. 

Mr Perry told today’s Irish Independent, that if Fine Gael is not serious about winning two seats [in Sligo-Leitrim] than it won't be in government."

John Perry, who previously took a High Court action against Fine Gael over a dispute about him running in the general election, has not ruled out running as an independent if he is not added to the party ticket.

He claims that private polling puts him in a strong position in the constituency.

Mr Perry's declaration follows the surprise departure of former TD and senator Gerry Reynolds who quit the Fine Gael Dáil election ticket last week.

Mr Reynolds stated that it would not be possible to continue to expand and protect his business interests and serve as a TD.

Mr Perry faces competition from Senator Frank Feighan, the former Roscommon TD, who has also confirmed that he would be interested in contesting the next election in Sligo-Leitrim.

Mr Feighan's home town of Boyle in north Roscommon was moved into the Sligo-Leitrim constituency in the most recent redrawing of boundaries.

But Mr Perry argues that his political base in Ballymote in south Sligo means he is best placed to win votes for the party.

Fine Gael has already selected Sligo councillor Sinead Maguire to run in the constituency, where sitting TD Tony McLoughlin is retiring at the next election.

Other local figures who have expressed an interest in being on the ticket include councillors John McCartin, Ita Reynolds and Enda McGloin, as well as Noel Merrick, a former chairman of the constituency executive.

Fine Gael general secretary Tom Curran is expected to visit the constituency today to meet potential candidates.

 

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